The European Parliament and Member States, concluding final negotiations today (March 20, 2014) on the new fuel infrastructure law, failed to set-out a clear pathway for a low-carbon European transport network. Transport & Environment expresses disappointment at this wasted opportunity, which contains no binding targets for low-carbon charging infrastructure and does little to help a transition towards sustainable e-mobility.
The deal sets no specific targets for electric charging points. EU countries must only develop national action plans and install an 'appropriate number of electric recharging points accessible to the public' by the end of 2020. EU-wide action is off the table and the deal only includes a review in 2017. Meanwhile, e-mobility will continue to evolve in a very uneven way across Europe.
Cecile Toubeau, clean vehicles policy officer at Transport & Environment, said “By short-sightedly refusing binding commitments for low-carbon charging infrastructure, European countries are prolonging the era of fossil fuel and high-carbon transport.”
Policies to promote a shift towards cleaner, lower carbon vehicles and fuels should enable different options to compete on the basis of their environmental performance. However, the virtual monopoly use of oil for transport requires initial policy interventions to enable environmentally superior solutions, like e-mobility, to emerge and eventually complete. If done well e-mobility is a key element of shifting to lower carbon transport and also drastically reduces both air and noise pollution.
“Greatly reducing transport's CO2 emissions requires many measures, and clean electrification of transport will have to be one of them. Today’s deal is a damp squib that does nothing to bring that closer,” Toubeau concluded.
The file will now pass to a full European Parliament vote for rubber-stamp agreement.